Based on your reading, select an organizational structure you think a health care organization might choose and explain the rationale of that choice. What communication method is most appropriate for managers in this organizational model? Why?
Organizational structure refers to the way that an organization arranges people and jobs so that its work can be performed and its goals can be met. [ When a work group is very small, and face-to-face communication is frequent, formal structure may be unnecessary, but in a larger organization decisions have to be made about the delegation of various tasks. Thus, procedures are established that
assign responsibilities for various functions. It is these decisions that determine the organizational structure.
In an organization of any size or complexity, employees' responsibilities typically are defined by what they do, who they report to, and for managers, who reports to them. Over time these definitions are assigned to positions in the organization rather than to specific individuals. The relationships among these positions are illustrated graphically in an organizational chart. The best organizational structure for any organization depends on many factors including the work it does; its size in terms of employees, revenue, and the geographic dispersion of its facilities; and the range of its businesses (the degree to which it is diversified across markets).
DEVELOPMENT OF THE TRADITIONAL ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
Understanding the historical context from which some of today's dominant organizational structures have developed helps to explain why some structures are the way they are. For instance, why are the old, but still operational steel mills such as U.S. Steel and Bethlehem Steel structured using vertical hierarchies? Why are newer steel mini-mills such as Chaparral Steel structured more horizontally, capitalizing on the innovativeness of their employees? Part of the reason, as this section discusses, is that organizational structure has a certain inertia—the idea borrowed from physics and chemistry that something in motion tends to continue on that same path. ]
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